Watching Austen

Hugh Thompson

Image ©Hugh Thompson

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a literary property that has fallen into public domain, must be in want of an adaptation.

Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, the author’s most famous work, has received several. Pride & Prejudice holds a special place in my heart. I read the book when I was thirteen and realized that no boyfriend would compare to Fitzwilliam Darcy. It is a sad fact that has stuck with me for 20 years. As an awkward high school senior, I bonded with my English teacher over my love for the book and the BBC adaptation. This did not help me build friendships in my South DeKalb County high school, but it did make me want to work in film.

If you managed to hack in my Netflix account, you will notice that I watch two genres: scifi and fantasy and romantic comedies. Both genres are completely unrealistic and force the viewer to buy into a world so unlike the one they know. Pride and Prejudice is the golden standard for romantic comedies and greatly influences the genre. Austen was the original chick-lit author.

I have watched numerous adaptations of the work. They range from brilliant to complete mess. This upcoming weekend sees the release of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. I will be there opening night.

In anticipation for the film, I have decided to spend the week watching and reviewing adaptations of Pride and Prejudice.

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